80-20 Investor

Evening all. Has anyone used the 80-20 Investor service (Damien Fahy from moneytothemasses.com)? He uses a £50k portfolio that he set up in 2014 and it has apparently seen 66% returns using ETFs, funds and trusts (I think. No individual shares cf motley fool). I am tempted to give it a go but with limited ETF numbers here on Freetrade I wonder o how many of the recommendations are actually available on the FT platform.


Ive not of heard of this service but I would be reluctant to pay for such a service. As a beginner it can be overwhelming to build a portfolio but do not to overthink it. Start off with a a few diversified ETF. If you have an interest in investments then begin reading financial news and research so you get an understanding of different views and strategies. You can then explore investment trusts, niche ETFs and even individual stocks.
If investing is a chore then stick to a passive approach, it’s proven over the long term.

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That’s very sage advice I’m sure. Thank you.

I am new to this but am in a position now where I can save / invest hard and am genuinely interested. Any advice where to start regarding trustworthy financial news +- any side by published guides to the world of investing?

Much appreciated.

Use the free trial perhaps? I am wary of him and his site because he puts so many weasel words and disclaimers there to cover his arse.

He’s basically saying “do this and you’ll succeed! But actually; don’t do it because of me, this isn’t advice, this isn’t a service, it’s just journalism. Pay me anyway.”

Also, don’t get suckered by the 66% portfolio point, I’m up 1% in two months and guess what? 6 of my 8 investments are in the red. 66% sounds nice, but you won’t know if he’s consistently pulling those numbers or if he got lucky and had one or two good bets pulling his portfolio up.

Anyway, if you want free resources you should check investopedia for guides and terminology. Monevator is a British investment blog which covers British based portfolio and even has a long term etf portfolio which has done very well, and has been done for ten years. If you read that you’ll see his ups and downs and how he’s changed his views on investing over the ten years. (He was down like 12% in the first three months, which is frightening, but I think he’s made 50k profit now.)

And then if you’re doing an etf portfolio on freetrade just go on the etf screener on the freetrade website, Google each etf on offer and download or read the investor information packs. They will tel you the charges, the performance and the aims of the etfs. Filter out the ones you think perform crap, find the ones you think will succeed long term and go from there.

Common advice is to look at vanguard all world - use that as a benchmark if you will. But most people like that one because it’s a fire and forget investment for people who want simple gains without the stress of looking over various markets or picking individual stocks. Start with one like that, then consider branching out, or don’t. People have plenty of success with vanguard all world apparently, it’s up to you and what you want to risk etc.

Outside of those places I mentioned you’ll want to look at the Financial Times, Bloomberg and other financial news sites in the future. But until you’re happy investing, keep reading and start small, and remember if places want your money, are they financial advisors or are they people using you for a supplemental income? And consider, would you be better off putting that money in a stock rather than to someone claiming he’s not advising you when he is :stuck_out_tongue:


I had a look at this, didn’t think it was all that great so pretty quickly cancelled. In his portfolio at the time there was only one ETF (iShares Physical Gold), all the rest were OEICs.

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If he’d just dumped his money into Vanguard VWRL in 2016 he’d be up circa 80%


Just FYI the S&P has returned 110% since the lowest point in 2014. This is over 135% if reinvesting dividends.
When it comes to ETFs don’t overthink it.


Not to be too down on him, but if that 66% return is since starting the portfolio, it doesn’t seem to be anything special.

Looking at the website it says 66.1% since August 2014. In 6 years 7 months, an average of 8% a year would get you 65.97% and 6 years 8 months would get you 67.04%. It sounds like the service he charges for gives about the same returns as any of the S&P 500 ETFs.

In the FAQs, he says in the first 17 months he made 11%, which means in the remaining 5 years he’s been seeing significantly lower returns than if he’d just stuck it in an ETF and forgot about it.

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Thank you so much for all the replies folks.
I am still waiting for my robo-ISA to transfer but am glad to be here with what seems to be good community spirit!

Now you’ve pointed out 80-20’s returns vs some of the other much easier and cheaper alternatives, it’s seems so obvious :see_no_evil:

Thank you for accepting this fledgling investor in to the fold :muscle:t2:


BTW, I think a lot of it is about timing and luck.

I only started 3 weeks ago, but I’ve made 2.5% so far. Most of that was in the last 2 days (up until then, I’ve been up or down about 0.5% each day) and quite lucky because I started to buy tech stock just after a load of them dropped 30% two weeks ago. I certainly wouldn’t say I know what I’m doing yet, and I’ve also made some bad buys too.

I’m also not investing all my money up front which could have been a bad move (e.g. I could have earned 10x my gains so far), but I’m also expecting a market drop especially as I think tech is massively overvalued still, so I want to have enough money to buy when it does drop, so I’m just buying stocks every day in whatever seems to have dropped the most out of the stocks I like, coupled with consistently buying into FTSE100 and S&P500 at whatever the current price is.

But nobody really knows what’s going to happen, so figure out how much you’re prepared to lose and manage your risks accordingly.

The famous case of active investing / Passive between Warren Buffet and a hedge fund should give you a good idea of what to do.

This guy isn’t specifically actively investing (I’d assume) but the point stands. Low cost diversification. Less stress and more success (I should pad that out into 75,000 words and sell a book!)

Cynically, I’d also assume that if somebody is going to the effort of writing a book or making a paid-for course about how to get rich investing, they’re probably expecting to make more from that than they do from the investing they’re doing themselves.

Obviously, there’s an element of creating a passive income stream, but investing in an ETF is also pretty passive.

The 80-20 guy’s portfolio is horrendous. He has around 15-20 OEIC funds, Trusts & Etf’s. Random rebalancing. Looks hectic.

A less hectic approach below.

Vanguard S&P 500
Vanguard Emerging Markets Etf
iShares Gold & Gold Producers Etf
…plus any satellites

I read every now and then from Monevator. If you want to start somewhere, I can recommend reading this article first: Freetrade: how to build your portfolio
There are some portfolio suggestions for beginners too, all you need is to understand the information first, then decide what is your risk tollerance, goals etc.

You might have many questions after reading this, but there is so much ( and valuable) information on this website. Or you can comment there or asking me, so on.

Good luck

I’ve really enjoyed reading that website today so thanks for that.

Great to see so many replies.

Cheers all

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and when he claims to be beating the market, he’s only talking about the FTSE 100, which is a very easy target to beat. In recent years, the FTSE 100 has been been the worst performing market index in the world. Compared to the S&P 500, he’s getting destroyed.


Be very careful of those offering paid newsletters that have underperformed the global market indices/ETFs! If you want to make this guy rich then go ahead but from reading his site there is nothing here that you can’t learn yourself or on forums like this and Monevator